Origami is the popular Japanese art form of folding paper, and is definitely a great way practice artistic skills and patience. I'm certainly no expert, but I do enjoy taking a break from my everyday design work to do some fun origami challenges. There's something about working with your hands that really helps creatives find their center.
We engaged in our paper crafts chapter around the holidays and happen to be decorating our company Christmas tree, so I thought it would be fun to create some origami ornaments.
I was curious what other paper crafts were out there and found a series of intricate designs that I thought were really beautiful. Since it was winter I thought it would be fun to create some decorative snowflakes.
Snowflakes, 30 - 40mins.
This exercise can be done by oneself or as a group with each person working individually.
There is a Bulgarian website called Krokotak that has a wealth of fun little craft exercises great for kids. This is definitely a wonderful resource for elementary school teachers. But I think it's great for adults too! Crafts are a way to release stress and tap into the creative sectors of our brains. These snowflake designs require patience and focus. Pictured at left is a simple design that requires less time and skill than the ones we attempted below. But there are many other designs on krokotak.com.
This variation is much more intricate and will test your diligence. I found this on a Russian blog post (stranamasterov.ru/node/454711). But you can find youtube tutorials and many other instructions online for this same design.
It took our team about 40 mins, and I'll admit we had to work together in the beginning to figure out the exact sequence of steps. But that was great, it was just the right amount of challenging! Shout out to Ange Lika for the step-by-step photos!
With these we used tacky glue to seal the strips together, so this is really not the same as origami. But the effect is no less beautiful.
What I really loved about these snowflakes is the dimensionality of the design. The snowflakes can flex in 3-D depending on how tight you make the weave.
If you have some time on your hands you can make a series of these intricate snowflakes in a variety of colors or add to the design with your own details. For example notching the ends of the strips with a decorative element. You could then thread them together to create a garland, or add hooks and
use them as hanging decor.
Its good to keep in mind that both sides of the paper are visible, so a two-toned or patterned paper could offer a nice effect. This is great for applications where the snowflakes dangle and spin.